Facebook removes several fake pages that are linked to INSA, an Ethiopian intelligence agency


Facebook has issued the following reported today after removing several pages and accounts that are said to be linked to the Ethiopian Information Network Security Agency (INSA).

(Facebook) – We removed 65 Facebook accounts, 52 Pages, 27 Groups, and 32 accounts on Instagram for violating our policy against coordinated inauthentic behavior. This network originated in and focused on domestic audiences in Ethiopia.

The operation used duplicate and fake accounts — some of which were already detected and disabled by our automated systems — to post and comment on their own content, and manage Groups and Pages, including those posing as media entities. The campaign appeared to accelerate their posting activity in 2020 and into 2021, and some of its recent content was rated false by independent fact-checkers and labeled as misleading. Some of the accounts went through significant name changes over time. They also used spam-like inauthentic distribution tactics to post the same content across multiple Pages and Groups simultaneously, including other people’s Groups.

This network posted primarily in Amharic about news and current events in Ethiopia, including the Prosperity party, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, and criticism of Egypt and Sudan related to Ethiopia’s mega dam project. They also posted critical commentary about various opposition politicians and groups in Ethiopia, including Oromo Liberation Front, Ethiopian Democratic Party, and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front among others. Most recently, they commented about protests against the US sanctions on Ethiopia. We assess that this activity was not directly focused on the Tigray region or the ongoing conflict in Tigray.

We found this network as part of our internal investigation into suspected coordinated inauthentic behavior in the region. Although the people behind it attempted to conceal their identities and coordination, our investigation found links to individuals associated with INSA, the Information Network Security Agency in Ethiopia. […] CONTINUE READING

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